The need for DSRVs became known when the Indian Navy’s INS Sindhurakshak sank in 2013; it was one of the worst accidents in Indian Navy history claiming 18 lives.
The Indian Navy has inducted its first ever Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV). Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lamba did the honours and flagged of the newly inducted DSRV at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on December 12.
With an operation depth of 650 metres and a capacity to accommodate 15 people, the Indian Navy has joined a select group of naval forces across the world to boast of such niche capabilities. The vehicle is designed to sustain extreme sea conditions and will be operational by April, 2019.
On the occasion, Admiral Lamba said,
The induction of the DSRV marks the culmination of years of effort of the Indian Navy in acquiring this niche submarine rescue capability, reports The Hindu.
The DSRV can be mobilised from Naval base at Mumbai to the nearest mobilisation port by air/land or sea to conduct rescue operations of sailors stranded in submarines. The vehicle is currently deployed on mother ship INS Sabarmati, provided by the Shipping Corporation of India, which will be placed in Mumbai.
The newly deployed crew formed under Submarine Rescue Unit (West) by Indian Navy will operate and deploy the vehicles for rescue missions, reports The Week.
The DSRV is developed by Scotland-based James Fisher Defence, which received £193 million for the supply of two DSRVs and for 25 years of maintenance.
“The nature of operations undertaken by submarines expose them to a high degree of inherent risk. In such an eventuality, traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine. To overcome this capability gap, the Navy has acquired a third generation, advanced Submarine Rescue System considering of a non-tethered DSRV and its associated equipment”, a statement by the Indian Navy said, reports Indian Express.
The need for deep rescue vehicles came into the limelight when Russian-built INS Sindhurakshak submarine exploded in flames during torpedo loading in the Arabian Sea, in Mumbai in 2013. It was one of the worst loss in more than four decades in the history of the Indian Navy, which took the lives of 18 sailors trapped in the vessel.